Dr. Ronit Lami, a psychologist in Beverly Hills, answers:
We enter our marriage thinking it will be forever, but somewhere along the way it doesn’t go exactly how we imagined it, and we find ourselves in the process of divorce.
“Why?” we ask. After all we have invested in our marriage (time, energy, our whole self and more) now everything crumbles. It is hard for us to accept, to let go, to comprehend. Our emotions feel like they are on a roller coaster. We may have conflicting feelings about the divorce. There might be days when one feels excited about the new life ahead and other days when the fear of the future creeps up. Divorce is not something that anyone wants to do, but something that has to be done, once agreed upon.
So, with all the confusion and the slew of emotions, how can one stay sane throughout the process of divorce?
- One of the most important things to have is someone trustworthy that you can confide in, someone who will listen to you and be there for you without passing judgment. A professional will help you work through the anger, fear, shame or guilt that often accompanies a divorce. Short term professional counseling can be a big help during times of transition, such as divorce.
- Keeping a journal is a great way to help you express your feelings and thoughts. Make sure to write what- ever is on your mind without screening or censoring anything. You will be surprised how helpful it is to allow the things present at the subconscious level to be brought to the surface. Moreover, writing things down helps us to process what we are feeling. If you have children, be sure to keep your journal in a secure spot where they cannot find it. Many of the things you feel while going through a divorce should not be shared with them.
- Do not be afraid to confront your fears. One of the biggest fears that people face when going through a divorce is the fear of the unknown and what comes after your divorce. Think about what you want to do with your life when this is all over, and aim at starting to make plans.
- If you can, make sure to join a support group. Divorce support groups exist to bring together people with similar experiences to provide insight and mutual support.
- Remember to be patient with life and yourself. You should under- stand that when we go through a divorce we often mourn the loss of our partner, much like we mourn a death. Allow yourself time to go through the pain and move towards healing.
- Use visualization techniques to see your life after divorce the way you would like it to be!